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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - DIVISION S-1—SOIL PHYSICS

Comparison of Two Techniques to Develop Pedotransfer Functions for Water Retention


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 67 No. 4, p. 1085-1092
    Received: Jan 15, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): javier@cptec.inpe.br
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  1. J. Tomasella *a,
  2. Ya. Pachepskyb,
  3. S. Crestanac and
  4. W. J. Rawlsd
  1. a INPE-CPTEC Centro de Previsão de Tempo e Estudos Climáticos, Caixa Postal 01, 126300-000 Cachoeira Paulista, SP, Brazil
    b USDA-ARS Animal Waste Pathogen Lab., Beltsville, MD, USA
    c Embrapa Instrumentação Agropecuária, São Carlos, SP, Brazil
    d USDA-ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Lab., Beltsville, MD, USA


Two pedotransfer function (PTF) approaches can be used for obtaining the analytical expression of the whole retention curve: (i) soil basic data is used to estimate soil water retention at specific water potentials; and then an analytical expression of the retention curve is fitted to the estimated soil moisture values; and (ii) soil basic data is used for estimating the parameters of an analytical expression of water retention curves. The objective of this study was to compare the performance of both techniques using data representing the main Brazilian soils. First, we derived PTFs for the parameters of van Genuchten equation and for water contents at −6, −10, −33, −100, and −1500 kPa for the same development data set. Second, we compared the performance of both techniques for the same validation data set. The approach, based on the estimation of water contents at specific water potentials, provided better results: for the validation data set, this technique showed an average root mean squared error of 0.036 m3 m−3, compared with an averaged error of 0.098 m3 m−3 of the technique based on the direct estimation of van Genuchten parameters. A possible explanation for this result might be related to the fact that soil moisture is controlled by different independent variables at different ranges of soil water potential, and those differences are not directly related to the van Genuchten parameters.

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Copyright © 2003. Soil Science SocietyPublished in Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.67:1085–1092.